Brandon Lauer broke open a tight match with South Carroll's Kellen Weber before pinning him in 3: 45 of their 125-pound semifinal bout, as River Hill built a 117.5-to-93 lead over second-place Franklin in last night's Class 4A-3A North Region tournament at Dundalk.
Also advancing for the third-ranked Howard County champs were Ryan Green (119), Mike Dauberman (130), Mike Romano (135), Jason Fawcett (171) and Scott Cannon (heavyweight), with two-time state champ Lauer improving to 106-0 over his career (34-0 this season).
For fifth-ranked Baltimore County champ Franklin, state champ Matt Schuster (119), Mays twins Luke (152) and state champ Sam (160), along with Stan Wagner (125) and Evan Zipper (112), advanced.
C. Milton Wright (66.5) finished a surprising third place on the strength of Ray Class (112), Andrew Hugo (152) and Carter Hugo (heavyweight), and No. 6 South Carroll (55.5) was fourth behind Dan Patterson (130) and Bryan Hamper (140).
Ninth-ranked Eastern Tech (54.5) was fifth behind Baltimore County champ Trent Dixon (103) and Dave Wooden (189), who reached the finals. Harford Counch champ Bel Air (52.5) was sixth, as Erick Purpura (145), Jon Wainwright (171) and Brian Cubbage reached the finals.
Fawcett (32-1) avenged his only loss, 7-0, over South Carroll's Chris Currence, and Cannon decked top seed Breon Johnson (28-4) of Parkville with a headlock in 1: 15.
Wagner pinned twice, including a fall in 1: 40 over Harford County runner-up Jake Still (28-4) of C. M. Wright, to earn another shot at Lauer. Schuster earned a rematch with Green, who beat him, 4-0, earlier.
Dixon overcame an 8-0 first-period deficit by reversing Harford County champ Will Hopson of C. M. Wright to his back for the fall in 3: 01, and Wooden (28-2) scored an 11-6 victory over previously unbeaten Baltimore County champ Muhammed Howard (17-1) of Milford Mill.
Dixon's title bout will be against Perry Hall's Nick Ramsel (26-2), with whom he split earlier double-overtime victories. Ramsel edged Carroll County champ Tyler Graham (25-3) of North Carroll, 3-2.
Weber, who was fourth at states last season, "had no expectations going into that match" with Lauer. "But I'd have loved to have made him 105-1."
Class 3A-4A East
No major surprises were found on the first day of the regional championship at Meade.
Through the semifinal round, defending region champ Old Mill had a 122-95 lead over second-place Chesapeake-AA going into today's action. The tournament will resume at 10 a.m., with the finals tentatively set for 4 p.m.
Broadneck is third going into the final day with 70 points, followed by Severna Park (55.5) and Arundel (45).
Twelve of the 13 top seeds advanced to the championship round and nine of them will meet second seeds.
The No. 2-Patriots have six wrestlers advancing to the final day, led by top seeds Adam DeCosmo (130), Dave Hicks (145), Antoine Cooksey (171) and heavyweight Dave Kim.
Chesapeake had all five of its top seeds -- Steve Yaruta (103), Matt Eveleth (112), Jeff Eveleth (119), John Mosca (160) and Melvin Guthrie (189) -- reach the final.
Northeast 152-pounder Ken Kanownik, a surprise Anne Arundel County champ last week, continues his late-season surge, reaching the final with a 10-8 decision over Meade's Kareem Fernandez. He will meet Broadneck's Jordan Rathlev, who decisioned top seed Kyle Ogan of South River, in the final.
Another intriguing final will be at 125, where Broadneck's top seed, Ricky Boulay, will try to avenge last week's 3-2 decision to Severna Park's Dan Fitzgerald in the Anne Arundel County final.
Class 1A-2A North
Owings Mills senior 189-pounder Richard Markowitz picked the right time to peak.
The No. 7 seed's 6-4 upset of second-seeded senior Bryan Slagle of Havre de Grace helped the Eagles place eight wrestlers in the regional semifinals at Overlea.
Markowitz took advantage of a stalling penalty and an escape in the final 40 seconds of the third period to break a 4-4 tie with Slagle.
On the strength of those eight wrestlers, Owings Mills leads Overlea in the team standings, 51-42. The Falcons advanced seven wrestlers to the semifinals, including top-seeded junior Chaudry Afzal (145) and senior Zack Sergotick (189).
Sixth seed Don Calhoun, a junior from Carver A&T, provided the other surprise of the event, pinning third-seeded senior Jason Reachard of Aberdeen just 34 seconds into their 152-pound bout.
Class 1A-2A South
Howard County's Atholton and host Hammond are running away from the competition after the quarterfinals.
The Raiders lead with 58 points, followed by Hammond with 51.
Atholton advanced nine wrestlers to the semifinal round, while Hammond advanced eight.
Hammond's Jason Freiert, a top seed at 112 pounds and last year's regional champion at 103 pounds, pinned Mount Hebron's Zak Porta 1: 20 into the match to advance.
Neal Nakagama of Oakland Mills and Atholton's Doug Ramsey both won their opening matches at 103. If the seeding's hold, the two should meet in the championship. Nakagama beat Ramsey for the Howard County title last week.
Edward Lee and Mike Frainie contributed to this article.